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Call us at: (505) 881-2566
2727 San Pedro NE • Suite 114 • Albuquerque, NM 87110

FAQs – Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

When there is recent abusive behavior between a couple – whether physical violence or severe emotional or sexual abuse – you can obtain a restraining order against your spouse or partner under the Family Violence Protection Act.  NMSA §40-13-1 et seq.  It is not necessary to call the police to obtain a restraining order, but please call the police if you or your children are in immediate physical danger.  For further information, see Detailed Answer below.

What is a domestic violence (DV) restraining order?

Also called an “order of protection”, a domestic violence restraining order is done under civil law, as opposed to criminal law.  Sometimes criminal charges are also filed against the abuser, usually called “battery against a household member”.  That means there are two cases involving the same events, one in family court and one in criminal court.  A DV Order means one person is ordered by the judge to stay away from, and not contact, the other person for a specific period of time.  If you violate the order, you can be arrested.
child with back to us and teddy bear

What is “domestic abuse”?

Domestic abuse does not just mean physically hurting another person   It includes specific kinds of behavior by one household member against another household member that consists of or results in physical harm, severe emotional distress, sexual assault, a threat causing imminent fear of physical harm, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property, repeatedly driving by a residence or work place (stalking), harassment by telephone or other means, or harm or threatened harm to children.

Who is considered to be a “household member”?

You don’t have to be married or live together to be a household member.  The law defines “household member” as a spouse or former spouse; parent; present or former step-parent, present or former in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law; child, step-child or grandchild; co-parent of a child; person with whom you have had a continuing personal relationship; or any victim of stalking or sexual assault, regardless of family relationship.

Who is not considered to be a “household member”?

The following people do not meet the definition of household member – your former or current spouse seeking a restraining order against your former or current girlfriend / boyfriend; siblings (brothers and sisters, step- or half-brothers and sisters); aunts and uncles; nieces and nephew; cousins; sibling in-laws (current or past); step-grandparents and step-grandchildren; or any present or former in-law other than a parent-in-law or current grandparent-in-law.  If your connection to the abuser falls outside the “household” member category, you would have to pursue a restraining order under the normal rules and laws for any civil restraining order, which is different than a DV Order under the Family Violence Protection Act.

Who can obtain a DV restraining order?

A person who has been abused can ask for a DV restraining order against a current or former other household member (see above for who qualifies as a household member).    It’s not a free-for-all where anyone can get a DV Order against anyone else.  The incident of abuse needs to occur recently, usually within 30 days of filing the petition, because you are asking the judge to grant emergency relief.  If you and your spouse got into a physical fight six months or two years ago, you will probably not get a restraining order now because the emergency has passed.

Where do I get a DV restraining order?

You go to the state District Court in the county where you live to process the application for a DV Restraining Order.  There is no fee to file a domestic violence case (unlike filing a divorce or paternity case).

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I appreciate everything Mary Ann and her team have done for my children, and myself, which entailed so much. Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time.   M.F.
2017-03-31T16:04:38+00:00
I appreciate everything Mary Ann and her team have done for my children, and myself, which entailed so much. Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time.   M.F.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your representation. I can’t tell you how confident and comfortable I felt having you represent me and the peace of mind that brought was worth more than I could...
2017-03-31T16:22:11+00:00
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your representation. I can’t tell you how confident and comfortable I felt having you represent me and the peace of mind that brought was worth more than I could have imagined.  I never once felt that you were working without my best interests in mind and contrary to my ex-husband’s experience, the expenses incurred were reasonable and fair, and I believe you were diligent about not incurring additional costs unless they were absolutely necessary.   A.N.

The day I walked into your office I did not believe that my life would take such a toil on my life, the fact and promise you made that you would never leave my side at any point even when...
2017-04-03T10:55:47+00:00
The day I walked into your office I did not believe that my life would take such a toil on my life, the fact and promise you made that you would never leave my side at any point even when I just couldn’t find the strength to open emails because it was so painful to read has defined a new beginning for me.  I am back in NM and I will never look back thinking that he got the best of me, because you kept your promise to me and because I am doing it; I am living life again!D.A. D.A.

Going through a divorce is an agonizing process, the emotional distress was overwhelming at times and the financial implications only exacerbated my anxiety. On top of that I had to hire a lawyer and hope that they would be professional,...
2017-04-03T10:56:15+00:00
Going through a divorce is an agonizing process, the emotional distress was overwhelming at times and the financial implications only exacerbated my anxiety. On top of that I had to hire a lawyer and hope that they would be professional, reliable and honest. I found that at NM Divorce & Custody and can’t express how fortunate I felt to have had Mary Ann Burmester’s representation in what I thought was going to be a quick divorce. Mary Ann is sharp, knowledgeable and honest. She gave me recommendations that I felt comfortable in taking and I never felt her representation didn’t have my best interests in mind. Mary Ann was an excellent advocate when my husband’s lawyer was requesting things from me that were completely unnecessary and had no purpose other than escalating expenses. She and her team were on top of things from day one, leaving me no doubt I’d made the right choice. I’d recommend them to absolutely anyone. A.B.

I want to give NM Custody & Divorce LLC a HUGE THANK YOU, for your professionalism, but most of all your patience and kindness. My experience with your firm was amazing start to finish, in such a difficult time in...
2017-04-03T10:56:42+00:00
I want to give NM Custody & Divorce LLC a HUGE THANK YOU, for your professionalism, but most of all your patience and kindness. My experience with your firm was amazing start to finish, in such a difficult time in my life, your team made me feel supported not just legally but with your concern. Ms. Burmester is an amazing women and attorney her and your firm have my highest recommendation!!   C.S.